The "Missing Middle" of Housing

Where I live in southwestern Connecticut the boom in multifamily apartment buildings is now underway for more than five years.  I and many others wonder where the end is.  This article about the "Missing Middle" provides an interesting analysis of the possible future shift in demand away from apartment buildings to rowhouses, townhouses, and stacked units that better suit families with children. 


I've also thought a lot about this missing typology in our more urban areas.  Where I live, while there are still many garden apartment complexes from the 1960s and 1970s around, there are very few new townhouse or rowhouse developments that provide a renter or owner a small yard and duplex or triplex apartments.  A big part of the problem here is that zoning regulations largely don't allow them or encourage them and larger tracts of land are more profitably converted into large apartment complexes through discretionary rezoning by a developer.  Building this housing at scale will be possible when visionary city planning leads to zoning that encourages it and the demand for it exceeds that for amenitized apartment complexes.  

David McCarthy